Wadsworth Auditorium hosted a successful performance by the Koresh Dance Company this past Saturday night for an enthusiastic crowd of Geneseo students, faculty and community members.
The dance company, founded by Israeli Ronen Koresh in 1991, is a troupe of skilled performers that combine elements of ballet, modern dance and jazz to create a truly spectacular and unique show for their audiences. Saturday night's program was very impressive, and included two main sections of dances, "Looking Back: The Music of the '40s and '50s," and "Standing in Tears," both of which received standing ovations at their completion.
"Looking Back" employed music from famous jazz singers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole, as well as soul musicians like Ray Charles and even the rock and roll stylings of Elvis Presley. This section of the show was divided into many smaller acts, all using the movements of the dancers to depict the emotion and meaning behind each of the songs.
In one of skits, featuring Presley's renowned hit "Hound Dog," a girl in a poodle skirt danced with her cheating and apologetic boyfriend only to push him away in anger every time the chorus repeated and reminded her of his betrayal. Audience members especially enjoyed this segment of the show because of its energy and comical circumstances. Continuing the theme, the next skit saw the return of the girlfriend with several backup singers performing to Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack" as her former lover was finally chased off stage.
"Looking Back" was a pleasant experience for Geneseo viewers young and old because of its use of classic songs from some of the most productive periods in musical history, as well as for the impressive choreography skills of the Koresh Dance team.
The second section of the night's event, "Standing in Tears," involved a much more eclectic assortment of composers from Arabian musician Khaled to Argentinian Astor Piazzola. In addition, the dances were much more experimental and interpretive, involving simpler costumes, no clear story lines and even circular chanting, all of which perfectly complemented the ethnic qualities of the music. As the show ended, the Koresh dancers made their performance more interactive, sending members into the audience to bring random viewers on stage, much to everyone's delights.
The final scene of "Standing in Tears" involved a young desperate woman entering the stage but seeing only couples dancing. Disrupting their symmetry, she grabbed one of the men and danced with him in a display of passion and truly professional skill, only to have him return to his former partner and leave her all alone. The show concluded with her giving a piercing stare of betrayal to the audience, and then a total blackout. After that, the entire crowd rose in a standing ovation for the entire Koresh troupe.
The Koresh Dance Company was the final show in this year's Limelight & Accents Performing Arts Series, an organization dedicated to bringing arts performances to the campus every year. More information about Limelight & Accents as well as their upcoming events for next year can be found on the College's Web site, and more information about Koresh can be found at /www.koreshdance.org/